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CobraPy: bits and pieces

As it hap­pens in ear­ly stages in fun prod­uct­s, progress in Co­braPy has been both faster and slow­er than ex­pect­ed.

In the past few days a num­ber of things hap­pened:

I made that terminal a whole lot nicer

I al­ready had a ter­mi­nal but I fixed a num­ber of things.

  • The key­board han­dling is much bet­ter, it now rec­og­nizes pret­ty much all keys, which is al­ways a nice thing.
  • It sor­ta sup­ports things like "á" via mod­e-switch (no dead­keys sup­port prob­a­bly ev­er)
  • It has 24-bit col­or sup­port! I did­n't know ter­mi­nals could sup­port that kind of thing!

I added a graphics protocol to it!

Ter­mi­nals with graph­ics sup­port have a very long tra­di­tion. This is a VT55, re­leased in 1977 dis­play­ing graph­ic­s:

How did it work? Well you can read the pro­gram­mer's man­u­al if you wan­t, but ba­si­cal­ly you sent a con­trol se­quence that put it in "graph­ics mod­e" and then sent com­mands de­scrib­ing what to dis­play.

Sim­i­lar ideas with dif­fer­ent pro­to­col de­tails were used in many dif­fer­ent fu­ture ter­mi­nal­s, in­clud­ing ReG­IS graph­ics and Tek­tron­ix vec­tor graph­ics and you could even trace this all the way to a cur­rent Lin­ux desk­top's X11 graph­ic­s.

So, what did I do? Not that, ex­act­ly. I am cre­at­ing a side-chan­nel as a sort-of-R­PC where you send se­ri­al­ized python method names and ar­gu­ments.

I wrote a Python REPL

I want­ed an in­ter­ac­tive mode that was slight­ly friend­lier than Python comes with, but not some­thing over­whelm­ing and pow­er­ful like IPython or BPython.

I did some re­search, and found pt­python which is pret­ty awe­some, but still a bit too much awe­some.

And then I start­ed on a much, much lamer ver­sion of it. Still em­bri­on­ic, but it does work. I have some plans for it.

I learned a lot more about Raylib

All the graph­ics and ba­si­cal­ly ev­ery­thing you see in this project is done us­ing the awe­some raylib and a home­grown CF­FI bind­ing for it. I was not us­ing it right, now I use it bet­ter, and things that took sev­er­al hun­dredth sec­onds now take a few dozen mi­crosec­ond­s.

I integrated the whole thing, sorta

So, I in­te­grat­ed it enough that you can start the ter­mi­nal, launch the RE­PL in it, and use the graph­ics pro­to­col to draw some­thing!

What next

Now comes a round of in­te­gra­tion, cleanup and op­ti­miza­tion.

  • Work­ing code needs to be re­or­ga­nized
  • The ter­mi­nal us­es 66% of a CPU core, which is not ac­cept­able, but there's tons of low hang­ing fruit there.
  • Graph­ics pro­to­col needs to be able to do more things so it's in­ter­est­ing

Af­ter that will come a new round of fea­ture work, and so on for the next ... 10 years? If it goes well?

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